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UCSF Gene Therapy Method Allays Parkinson's Symptoms

A novel technique created at UCSF to deliver a growth factor directly to brain cells has shown promising results in treating Parkinson's symptoms and could enter human clinical trials as early as next year.

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New kidney transplant drug effective in humans, UCSF study finds

UCSF nephrologist Flavio Vincenti, MD, is the lead author of a paper in the March 2010 issue of the <i>American Journal of Transplantation</i> that reports results from a Phase III clinical trial for a new drug that selectively blocks immune suppression for kidney transplants. The drug, belatacept, is given to kidney-transplant recipients to prevent the immune system from rejecting the new organ. Vincenti and his co-investigators found that belatacept may be as effective as the commonly used anti-rejection drug cyclosporine, but with fewer side effects and superior kidney function after 12 months.

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Gene family found to play key role in early stages of development

Scientists have identified a gene family that plays a key role in one of the earliest stages of development in which an embryo distinguishes its left side from the right and determines how organs should be positioned within the body. The finding in mice likely will lead to a better understanding of how certain birth defects occur in humans.

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Telomeres and the Remarkable Telomerase Enzyme

Telomeres — which are the DNA repeats that form the tips of chromosomes and are produced by the telomerase enzyme — play a crucial, and curious, role in the life of the cell.

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